At the BET Awards on Sunday night, after receiving the network's humanitarian award, Jesse Williams began with the usual litany of thanks. Standing with a slight hunch over a too-short microphone, he celebrated his parents and his wife.
With that out of the way, the real speech began.
"This award, this is not for me," the activist and Grey's Anatomy star said. He honored activists, civil rights attorneys, parents, teachers, and "the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do." He particularly celebrated black women.
He condemned police brutality against people of color: "What we've been doing is looking at the data, and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what's gonna happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country, or we will restructure their function, and ours."